Since Bruce and I had Cat scans in November, he’s asked me to update you on how we made out and what the next step is for both of us.
After being placed on waiting lists for clinical trials at Memorial Sloan Kettering and Weil Cornell Medical Center, Bruce was accepted into a trial at the John Theurer Cancer Center of Hackensack Medical Center, Hackensack, NJ. Since chemo was no longer proving effective for Bruce and since his recent Cat scans at Hackensack showed some small progression of his cancer, we are grateful he has been accepted to and already begun Cycle 1-2 of NC318–Next Cure. It is a brand new clinical trial for pancreatic cancer and as with any trial, there are no guarantees. But in true “Bruce fashion,” he is not only hopeful but positive that this trial will help to keep his cancer at bay and possibly even decrease it. We will certainly keep you posted!
As for myself, my recent Cat scans thankfully showed no new cancer. However, they did show “extensive” scarring on my right lower lung lobe and some on the left side. I was aware after my second lung surgery this past September, that I had a lot of scar tissue on my right lung. This, coupled with losing two small portions of each lower lung lobe, plus being diagnosed with Interstitial Pneumonitis will necessitate consulting with a pulmonologist. But I’m presently cancer free and for that, I’m beyond grateful!
I would like to end this blog post by sharing a personal story with you. After my Cat scans last week and prior to going down to Hackensack for Bruce’s blood work, we went out to breakfast. I mentioned how I was glad my scans were over but that now I’d worry until my doctor called with the results. Bruce said he never worries about his scans. I asked him how that’s possible when he has active cancer in his body. He said the following: “I’m too grateful for every single day to ruin it by worrying. I’m grateful to wake up in the morning, to have another day to be with family, to still be able to go to the gym, and to still be able to work on our lawn. I’m grateful for the cold and even the rain because I’m here to experience it.” He went on to say that he’s always “excited” to undergo scans because he “always expects good results.” Then he said, “And if the results aren’t good, I know there will be something that will come along to help me—like this clinical trial.” Finally, he asked me what I worried the most about after having scans. I replied, “Dying.” He said he’s not afraid of dying because he knows there’s an afterlife and that he already knows it’s beautiful and peaceful and that he’ll spend eternity with family and friends. Even after thirty years together, I’m still amazed at Bruce’s positivity and his sincere optimism about life—and death.